Case Number 23127


MTI // 2010 // 93 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // January 14th, 2012

The Charge

All bets are off.

Opening Statement

From the back of the DVD case: "A sexy, brain teaser of a thriller with nods to classic film noir mixed with a post-modern flair of David Lynch surrealism and surprises."

I have nothing to add to the above...ummm...description of this...ummm..."film."

Facts of the Case

Mickey (Steven Man) is a homeless artist. In a pretty much empty parking lot, Mickey manages to crash his shopping cart into Katrina's (Katherine Randolph, Jarhead) shopping cart. Katrina is the wife of Arthur (Steven Bauer, Scarface), a rich businessman. Naturally, Katrina hires the homeless Mickey to paint her house. Naturally, Arthur agrees with Katrina's decision and goes away on a trip. Naturally, there is a plot of murder and thievery at hand. Naturally, nothing else makes sense.

The Evidence

Even though it is only January, One In The Gun will be one of the worst movies I review in 2012. I say this with confidence. It is a bad film.

There are different levels of bad. The technical aspects of a film can be poor (e.g., audio and video). The acting can be terrible. The story can be awful. The special effects can be laughable.

One In The Gun pretty much has all of the above.

Now such shortcomings can be turned into strengths if a movie doesn't take itself seriously, and plays up the camp factor. However, if such a film plays it straight...well, that's not good. In the case One In The Gun, we have a film that takes itself way, way too seriously. Any film that describes itself as containing "a post-modern flair of David Lynch surrealism and surprises" without being ironic is making a desperate plea for help.

What makes it so bad? Where to start? The beginning, I guess. In the opening scene, Mickey emerges from a warehouse, where five shots have been fired. He empties his revolver of shell casings, takes the last live round, puts it back in, spins the barrel, and slaps it back into place. He then starts walking down the street with gun in his hand. Say what? Later in the film he makes references to what he did, but he never explains why he did it. Most of the film is like this.

Of course, there is more badness to come, like the shopping cart collision. But there's much more. There's gratuitous nudity, flashbacks within flashbacks within dreams, absolutely terrible dialogue, even worse acting, and cheap special effects. And then a descent into bizarre surrealism and a final "twist" at the very, very end. The worst, however, is that the filmmakers think that they are really clever with their "story." They are wrong. Dead wrong. It's a silly, incoherent mess. Especially annoying is the commentary track, featuring director Rolfe Kanefsky, Man, Randolph, and producer Esther Goodstein. Kanefsky goes on and on about the various tributes in, and influences on, the film, including, Shock Corridor, The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three, Lost Highway, and Double Indemnity.

The video and audio presentations are poor. Detail is not good, especially in night scenes. Colors are soft. The movie looks like a direct to video release. The audio is very weak with sound effects and soundtrack sometimes interfering or drowning out dialogue.

Why do some of the poorest of films come loaded with extras? One In The Gun comes with a full slate, including the commentary mentioned above there is a Behind The Scenes featurette, deleted/extended scenes, bloopers, rehearsal footage, footage and comments from the "Red Carpet" premiere, animated stills and storyboard gallery, and a trailer. Further, many of the extras have an optional commentary word.

Closing Statement

Read a book instead, go to the gym, or meditate. Just don't waste your precious time and money on this movie-like substance.

The Verdict


Review content copyright © 2012 Roy Hrab; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 75
Audio: 50
Extras: 80
Acting: 10
Story: 10
Judgment: 15

Perp Profile
Studio: MTI
Video Formats:
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

* English (CC)
* Spanish

Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Commentary
* Deleted Scenes
* Featurette
* Premiere Footage
* Outtakes
* Image Galleries
* Trailer

* IMDb